Women’s Land Rights matter!

This webinar took place on April 29, 2020 and aimed to: (1) position ILC WLR platforms in the process towards Beijing+25; (2) find linkages and boost collaboration among regional and global CBIs, and other relevant stakeholders.


  1. How to work together to make sure that Women’s Land Rights matter in the Beijing+25 process
  2. What ILC initiatives on Women Land Rights are doing around the world and how they can be useful for your organisation and communities
  3. Good practices and other strategies employed by ILC members to secure women’s land rights

Watch the recording below or on the ILC Youtube channel here.

The Webinar, moderated by Cristina Timponi Cambiaghi, Thematic Coordination Manager at ILC, included contributions from:

  • Esther Muiru – Women’s Land Rights, ILC: «The ILC strategy in the Beijing +25 process»
  • Patricia Chaves – Focal Point, ESPAÇO FEMINISTA: «Feminist Land Platform: What it is and what we do»
  • Kafui Kuwonu, WILDAF: «CBI 4 in Africa: goals and activities»
  • Ana Maria Restrepo – CBI 4 LAC Focal Point, CINEP: «CBI 4 in Latin America: goals and activities


Securing Women and girls’ land rights could perhaps resolve over 50% of unequal gender power relations, economic injustices, gender based violence , inadequate housing, rising food insecurity and sovereignty among rural, urban and indigenous communities living in poverty.

The 2020/2021 Generation Equality and review of Beijing plus 25 processes must ensure mainstream security of women’s land tenure in all the six agreed coalitions and emerging action plans without which achieving a significant milestone in closing gender inequality will be a mirage.


It is imperative that donors and other CSOs with access to power and resources support and work alongside women’s land rights actors to advance the course. Women’s empowerment and rights are hardly of significant attention by states and some major donors: this makes it harder to position women’s land rights. This is also coupled by the fact that most private actors don’t want security of land tenure guaranteed for women living in poverty as well as in indigenous communities. Women land advocates are working against major dominant powers: the more donors and CSOs back the struggle to secure women’s land rights, the better for humans and nature.


COVID19 is definitely worsening the conditions of women and girls whose security of land rights is under threat. It is possible that the recorded escalating gender based violence impacting women and girls everywhere in the world will be used to disinherit women from land and other productive assets.

Women already organized to defend the personal, community and family land rights are using their skills to educate and innovatively lead the communities to respond to increasing challenges as a result of the COVID19 pandemic. Moreover, unless drastic support is urgently provided to women with precarious land rights, they will be left behind as advocacy and organising move to online platforms, as they have limited access to technology and they are more likely to plunge deeper into inequality and poverty.

The lockdown is having significant consequences for the rural population due to structural conditions of poverty and violence. Food security is at risk in many communities. Some peasant organisations have returned to barter to avoid losing crops and get essential products, others do require external assistance. So far, women small scale traders, smallholder farmers and home based workers have their basic means of income support shut down.

In violent contexts, like Colombia, there are alerts of armed groups taking advantage of isolation measures to have greater control over the population. It’s important to maintain the attention, information and visibility high on the situation and call institutions to take actions to keep rural communities, especially vulnerable groups, safe.

Last but not least, women are dealing with an arising need to provide care and support to families and communities more than before – showing resilience even in the most challenging situations.


There are different approaches to monitoring SDGs. We should ask: monitoring for whom or for what purpose? Who gathers the information? The monitoring should benefit women on the ground. Monitoring efforts should include women’s groups and women should be equipped with the knowledge, power and agency to claim better policies. Monitoring cannot just stay with the government, or just with civil society alternative reporting: it should involve changes in power relations.


Women’s land rights and climate change are directly connected. We must defend women’s territories, being women’s bodies the first and most important ones, often controlled and used against them. The fight for dignity and self-determination applies also to the territories, the physical and geographical spaces where communities and indigenous peoples have been developing their social, political, economic, cultural and spiritual lives for centuries.

Agroecology is a good option to articulate women land rights, food sovereignty and climate change. Some communities have placed agroecology at the center as a political horizon and as an alternative model that includes the recognition of the territory in discussions about land and ownership, and the understanding of the cultural dimension of land.

Learn more about the Generation Equality process from Esther Muiru, ILC


The Feminist Land Platform is a strategic and inclusive space for feminist organisations and leaders working on women land rights and gender justice. Their purpose is to unite and amplify voices and analyses from women struggles representing diverse constituencies, while building alliances to change and address oppressive practices and social norms for a just and equal society for all.

1- PATH OF RESISTANCE – The constituency-based organizations forming the FLP have followed their own paths of resistance against oppressive norms and a patriarchal, racist, sexist, homophobic societies. The work of the Platform will reflect the realities of communities and also the experience and knowledge that each organization has acquired over many years of work on the ground.

2- DIVERSITY is asserted and embraced because it reflects a common will and the very spirit of the FLP. It is our richness because of the geographical, cultural, linguistic differences that we all represent but which, instead of distancing us, bring us together as women and sisters with the same problems and aspirations. Our diversity is also a guarantee of representativeness and inclusiveness, far from all forms of ghettoization and sectarian stereotypes. Our diversity is a kaleidoscope of lifestyles, knowledge, experiences and strengths that can generate a positive dynamic through complementarity and exchange.

3- DIGNITY AND THE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION are closely linked to land ownership for many women in the Global South. The defense of the territory is vital because the anchoring in physical and geographical space is an anchoring of historical, social, political, economic, cultural and spiritual identity, a relationship that women have always preserved and perpetuated by developing ancestral ways of life and knowledge. It is a precious heritage that we must enhance and make known by politically strengthening the feminist movements in the areas of women’s land rights (WLR) and gender justice (GJ) at all levels. A common struggle to be shared and transformed into collective action at all levels: local, regional and global.

Read more here or send a message to contact@feministlandplatform.org

Learn more about the Feminist Land Platform from Patricia Chaves, ESPAÇO FEMINISTA


The Rural Women and Land Rights Initiative LAC (Mujer Rural y Derecho a la Tierra) is a platform of 24 grassroots organizations and social movements of peasant, indigenous and Afro-descendant, as well as feminist organizations, academia and non-governmental organizations from 12 Latin American countries «seeking rural Latin American women to achieve and exercise their rights over land and territories, protecting them from dispossession, eviction, and all kind of discrimination and violence in the short, medium, and long term«.

Extractivism, the criminalisation of human, environmental and land rights defenders, and the conservative onslaught against the gains of women’s movements have particularly limited the rights of rural, indigenous, Afro-descendant and peasant women in the region.

Faced with this scenario, the platform works around three concrete strategies:


The Initiative has contributed  to the construction of a regional perspective on the situation of rural women. It’s useful for women because it allows them to learn about similar contexts and action strategies, but it’s also useful for the academia, media, intergovernmental organizations and governments at national and local levels as it provides data and recommendations toensure that “control over land, territory and the benefits derived from it are equitable between women and men” (ILC Commitment 4).


The Initiative strengthens local processes of organization and social mobilization through inter-country exchanges and actions,and builds the capacities of member organizations to accompany rural women by qualifying their demands and dialogue with governments – through communication and advocacy.


Articulation with intergovernmental institutions and organizations (alliance with FAO campaign #Rural Women, Women with rights and with Oxfam Campaign WIN Defenders) in strategies that aim to «incorporate a solid gender perspective, look closely at gaps and discrimination, and promote investment required to change this situation”, following the call of attention of the United Nations Group for the Development of Latin America and the Caribbean (Commitments and route to a planet to 2030).


The toolbox “Caminario” maps successful and innovative communication and advocacy experiences, carried out by the Mujer Rural y Derecho a la Tierra initiative. It aims to give visibility to the work of Latin American rural social organizations and to contribute to the exchange and replication of successful experiences.

Learn more about Mujer Rural y Derecho a la Tierra from Ana Maria Restrepo – CBI 4 LAC Focal Point, CINEP


Women’s Land Rights in Africa is a platform of 25 women grassroots organizations, social movements of peasant, indigenous, academia and non-governmental organizations from 13 countries seeking to “contribute towards an African society where women and girls enjoy de facto and de jure rights to land and land-based resources and equal representation in related decision making”

The Platform has set up these specific goals:

  • Boost the implementation of the Charter of Demands for Realization Equal Land Rights for Women in Africa at regional and National level.
  • Increase the awareness of policyholders and people in power on women’s land rights and the inclusion of these rights during the formulation and/or implementation of progressive laws.
  • Contribute to the abandon of customary practices and norms that limit the enjoyment of women’s land rights.
  • Increase the active participation and lobby of regional blocks for the realization of women’s land rights.
  • Land based investments and extractive industries respect and uphold women’s human rights at the local, national and at the continental level.

To do so, the platform is working on the following activities:

  1. Prepare and coordinate inputs to the Beijing plus 25 processes, Land Policy Forum, Land Poverty Conference to advocate for the inclusion of women land rights
  2. Undertake a scoping survey on current /available legal and progressive strategies, scorecards, & frameworks on women land rights
  3. Strengthen the capacities of rural women, women rights organisation and Land Governance organisation on the content and use of Kilimanjaro Charter as advocacy instrument
  4. Develop members’ knowledge management skills and strengthen capabilities in evidence generation and dissemination through research
  5. Map, document and share ongoing advocacy coalitions, list of local organizations and groups investing in women land rights
  6. Support the participation of rural women, girls and grassroots land advocates to influence duty bearers and power holders including traditional leaders and policy makers to uphold their land rights at national, sub regional, regional and international level.

Learn more about Women’s Land Rights in Africa from Kafui Kuwonu, WILDAF